TGFBR2; transforming growth factor, beta receptor II (70/80kDa) (3p22)

Gene Summary

Gene:TGFBR2; transforming growth factor, beta receptor II (70/80kDa)
Aliases: AAT3, FAA3, LDS2, MFS2, RIIC, LDS1B, LDS2B, TAAD2, TGFR-2, TGFbeta-RII
Summary:This gene encodes a member of the Ser/Thr protein kinase family and the TGFB receptor subfamily. The encoded protein is a transmembrane protein that has a protein kinase domain, forms a heterodimeric complex with another receptor protein, and binds TGF-beta. This receptor/ligand complex phosphorylates proteins, which then enter the nucleus and regulate the transcription of a subset of genes related to cell proliferation. Mutations in this gene have been associated with Marfan Syndrome, Loeys-Deitz Aortic Aneurysm Syndrome, and the development of various types of tumors. Alternatively spliced transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been characterized. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:TGF-beta receptor type-2
Updated:14 December, 2014


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (56)


What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
- ALK in cardiac myocytes BIOCARTA
- NFkB activation by Nontypeable Hemophilus influenzae BIOCARTA
- Role of Tob in T-cell activation BIOCARTA
- TGF beta signaling pathway BIOCARTA
- Adherens junction KEGG
- Colorectal cancer KEGG
- Cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction KEGG
- MAPK signaling pathway KEGG
- TGF-beta signaling pathway KEGG
Data from KEGG and BioCarta [BIOCARTA terms] via CGAP

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1989-2014)
Graph generated 14 December 2014 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

Tag cloud generated 14 December, 2014 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Notable (8)

Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Entity Topic PubMed Papers
Colorectal CancerTGFBR2 and Bowel Cancer View Publications136
Lung CancerTGFBR2 and Lung Cancer View Publications53
Stomach CancerTGFBR2 and Stomach Cancer View Publications48
Breast CancerTGFBR2 and Breast Cancer View Publications40
Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colorectal Cancer TGFBR2 and Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colorectal Cancer (HNPCC) View Publications36
Pancreatic CancerTGFBR2 and Pancreatic Cancer View Publications23
Thyroid CancerTGFBR2 and Thyroid Cancer View Publications10
Ewing's SarcomaTGFBR2 Suppression by Ewing's Sarcoma EWS/FLI1 Fusion Genes
Hahm and colleagues (Nat Genet, 1999) reported that TGFBR2, a putative tumour suppresser gene, is a direct target of the EWS-FLI1 fusion protein. They found that Ewing’s sarcoma cell lines and primary tumours with the EWSR1-FLI1 expressed low or undetectable levels of TGFBR2 mRNA and protein product. However, in ES cell lines antisense to EWSR1-FLI1 restored TGFBR2 expression and introduction of normal TGFBR2-beta restored TGF-beta sensitivity and blocked tumorigenicity. They later demonstrated (Cancer Res, 2000) similar effects of EWS-ETV1 and EWS-ERG fusion proteins on the expression of TGFBR2 gene in ES cell lines.
View Publications6

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Related Links

Latest Publications: TGFBR2 (cancer-related)

Mitra R, Edmonds MD, Sun J, et al.
Reproducible combinatorial regulatory networks elucidate novel oncogenic microRNAs in non-small cell lung cancer.
RNA. 2014; 20(9):1356-68 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
While previous studies reported aberrant expression of microRNAs (miRNAs) in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), little is known about which miRNAs play central roles in NSCLC's pathogenesis and its regulatory mechanisms. To address this issue, we presented a robust computational framework that integrated matched miRNA and mRNA expression profiles in NSCLC using feed-forward loops. The network consists of miRNAs, transcription factors (TFs), and their common predicted target genes. To discern the biological meaning of their associations, we introduced the direction of regulation. A network edge validation strategy using three independent NSCLC expression profiling data sets pinpointed reproducible biological regulations. Reproducible regulation, which may reflect the true molecular interaction, has not been applied to miRNA-TF co-regulatory network analyses in cancer or other diseases yet. We revealed eight hub miRNAs that connected to a higher proportion of targets validated by independent data sets. Network analyses showed that these miRNAs might have strong oncogenic characteristics. Furthermore, we identified a novel miRNA-TF co-regulatory module that potentially suppresses the tumor suppressor activity of the TGF-β pathway by targeting a core pathway molecule (TGFBR2). Follow-up experiments showed two miRNAs (miR-9-5p and miR-130b-3p) in this module had increased expression while their target gene TGFBR2 had decreased expression in a cohort of human NSCLC. Moreover, we demonstrated these two miRNAs directly bind to the 3' untranslated region of TGFBR2. This study enhanced our understanding of miRNA-TF co-regulatory mechanisms in NSCLC. The combined bioinformatics and validation approach we described can be applied to study other types of diseases.

Related: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Lung Cancer

Mincione G, Tarantelli C, Vianale G, et al.
Mutual regulation of TGF-β1, TβRII and ErbB receptors expression in human thyroid carcinomas.
Exp Cell Res. 2014; 327(1):24-36 [PubMed] Related Publications
The role of EGF and TGF-β1 in thyroid cancer is still not clearly defined. TGF-β1 inhibited the cellular growth and migration of follicular (FTC-133) and papillary (B-CPAP) thyroid carcinoma cell lines. Co-treatments of TGF-β1 and EGF inhibited proliferation in both cell lines, but displayed opposite effect on their migratory capability, leading to inhibition in B-CPAP and promotion in FTC-133 cells, by a MAPK-dependent mechanism. TGF-β1, TβRII and EGFR expressions were evaluated in benign and malignant thyroid tumors. Both positivity (51.7% and 60.0% and 80.0% in FA and PTC and FTC) and overexpression (60.0%, 77.7% and 75.0% in FA, PTC and FTC) of EGFR mRNA correlates with the aggressive tumor behavior. The moderate overexpression of TGF-β1 and TβRII mRNA in PTC tissues (61.5% and 62.5%, respectively), counteracted their high overexpression in FTC tissues (100% and 100%, respectively), while EGFR overexpression was similar in both carcinomas. Papillary carcinomas were positive to E-cadherin expression, while the follicular carcinomas lose E-cadherin staining. Our findings of TGF-β1/TβRII and EGFR overexpressions together with a loss of E-cadherin observed in human follicular thyroid carcinomas, and of increased migration ability MAPK-dependent after EGF/TGF-β1 treatments in the follicular thyroid carcinoma cell line, reinforced the hypothesis of a cross-talk between EGF and TGF-β1 systems in follicular thyroid carcinomas phenotype.

Related: Thyroid Cancer TGFB1 EGFR

Riester M, Wei W, Waldron L, et al.
Risk prediction for late-stage ovarian cancer by meta-analysis of 1525 patient samples.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2014; 106(5) [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Ovarian cancer causes more than 15000 deaths per year in the United States. The survival of patients is quite heterogeneous, and accurate prognostic tools would help with the clinical management of these patients.
METHODS: We developed and validated two gene expression signatures, the first for predicting survival in advanced-stage, serous ovarian cancer and the second for predicting debulking status. We integrated 13 publicly available datasets totaling 1525 subjects. We trained prediction models using a meta-analysis variation on the compound covariable method, tested models by a "leave-one-dataset-out" procedure, and validated models in additional independent datasets. Selected genes from the debulking signature were validated by immunohistochemistry and quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) in two further independent cohorts of 179 and 78 patients, respectively. All statistical tests were two-sided.
RESULTS: The survival signature stratified patients into high- and low-risk groups (hazard ratio = 2.19; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.84 to 2.61) statistically significantly better than the TCGA signature (P = .04). POSTN, CXCL14, FAP, NUAK1, PTCH1, and TGFBR2 were validated by qRT-PCR (P < .05) and POSTN, CXCL14, and phosphorylated Smad2/3 were validated by immunohistochemistry (P < .001) as independent predictors of debulking status. The sum of immunohistochemistry intensities for these three proteins provided a tool that classified 92.8% of samples correctly in high- and low-risk groups for suboptimal debulking (area under the curve = 0.89; 95% CI = 0.84 to 0.93).
CONCLUSIONS: Our survival signature provides the most accurate and validated prognostic model for early- and advanced-stage high-grade, serous ovarian cancer. The debulking signature accurately predicts the outcome of cytoreductive surgery, potentially allowing for stratification of patients for primary vs secondary cytoreduction.

Related: Ovarian Cancer USA

Bjerke GA, Pietrzak K, Melhuish TA, et al.
Prostate cancer induced by loss of Apc is restrained by TGFβ signaling.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(3):e92800 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
Recent work with mouse models of prostate cancer (CaP) has shown that inactivation of TGFβ signaling in prostate epithelium can cooperate with deletion of the Pten tumor suppressor to drive locally aggressive cancer and metastatic disease. Here, we show that inactivating the TGFβ pathway by deleting the gene encoding the TGFβ type II receptor (Tgfbr2) in combination with a deletion of the Apc tumor suppressor gene specifically in mouse prostate epithelium, results in the rapid onset of invasive CaP. Micro-metastases were observed in the lymph nodes and lungs of a proportion of the double mutant mice, whereas no metastases were observed in Apc single mutant mice. Prostate-specific Apc;Tgfbr2 mutants had a lower frequency of metastasis and survived significantly longer than Pten;Tgfbr2 double mutants. However, all Apc;Tgfbr2 mutants developed invasive cancer by 30 weeks of age, whereas invasive cancer was rarely observed in Apc single mutant animals, even by one year of age. Further comparison of the Pten and Apc models of CaP revealed additional differences, including adenosquamous carcinoma in the Apc;Tgfbr2 mutants that was not seen in the Pten model, and a lack of robust induction of the TGFβ pathway in Apc null prostate. In addition to causing high-grade prostate intra-epithelial neoplasia (HGPIN), deletion of either Pten or Apc induced senescence in affected prostate ducts, and this restraint was overcome by loss of Tgfbr2. In summary, this work demonstrates that TGFβ signaling restrains the progression of CaP induced by different tumor suppressor mutations, suggesting that TGFβ signaling exerts a general tumor suppressive effect in prostate.

Related: PTEN Prostate Cancer Signal Transduction

Kadara H, Fujimoto J, Yoo SY, et al.
Transcriptomic architecture of the adjacent airway field cancerization in non-small cell lung cancer.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2014; 106(3):dju004 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Earlier work identified specific tumor-promoting abnormalities that are shared between lung cancers and adjacent normal bronchial epithelia. We sought to characterize the yet unknown global molecular and adjacent airway field cancerization (FC) in early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
METHODS: Whole-transcriptome expression profiling of resected early-stage (I-IIIA) NSCLC specimens (n = 20) with matched tumors, multiple cytologically controlled normal airways with varying distances from tumors, and uninvolved normal lung tissues (n = 194 samples) was performed using the Affymetrix Human Gene 1.0 ST platform. Mixed-effects models were used to identify differentially expressed genes among groups. Ordinal regression analysis was performed to characterize site-dependent airway expression profiles. All statistical tests were two-sided, except where noted.
RESULTS: We identified differentially expressed gene features (n = 1661) between NSCLCs and airways compared with normal lung tissues, a subset of which (n = 299), after gene set enrichment analysis, statistically significantly (P < .001) distinguished large airways in lung cancer patients from airways in cancer-free smokers. In addition, we identified genes (n = 422) statistically significantly and progressively differentially expressed in airways by distance from tumors that were found to be congruently modulated between NSCLCs and normal lung tissues. Furthermore, LAPTM4B, with statistically significantly increased expression (P < .05) in airways with shorter distance from tumors, was upregulated in human immortalized cells compared with normal bronchial epithelial cells (P < .001) and promoted anchorage-dependent and -independent lung cancer cell growth.
CONCLUSIONS: The adjacent airway FC comprises both site-independent profiles as well as gradient and localized airway expression patterns. Profiling of the airway FC may provide new insights into NSCLC oncogenesis and molecular tools for detection of the disease.

Related: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Lung Cancer VIPR1

Szymanowska-Narloch A, Jassem E, Skrzypski M, et al.
Molecular profiles of non-small cell lung cancers in cigarette smoking and never-smoking patients.
Adv Med Sci. 2013; 58(2):196-206 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Molecular features of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in never-smokers are not well recognized. We assessed the expression of genes potentially related to lung cancer etiology in smoking vs. never-smoking NSCLC patients.
METHODS: We assayed frozen tumor samples from surgically resected 31 never-smoking and 54 clinically pair-matched smoking NSCLC patients, and from corresponding normal lung tissue from 27 and 43 patients, respectively. Expression of 21 genes, including cell membrane kinases, sex hormone receptors, transcription factors, growth factors and others was assessed by reverse transcription - quantitative PCR.
RESULTS: Expression of 5 genes was significantly higher in tumors of non-smokers vs. smokers: CSF1R (p<0.0001), RRAD (p<0.0001), PR (p=0.0004), TGFBR2 (p=0.0027) and EPHB6 (p=0.0033). Expression of AKR1B10 (p<0.0001), CDKN2A (p<0.0001), CHRNA6 (p<0.0001), SOX9 (p<0.0001), survivin (p<0.0001) and ER2 (p=0.002) was significantly higher in tumors compared to normal lung tissue. Expression of AR (p<0.0001), EPHB6 (p<0.0001), PR (p<0.0001), TGFBR2 (p<0.0001), TGFBR3 (p<0.0001), ER1 (p=0.0006) and DLG1 (p=0.0016) was significantly lower in tumors than in normal lung tissue. Expression of IGF2 was higher in tumors than in healthy lung tissue in never-smokers (p=0.003), and expression of AHR (p<0.0001), CSF1R (p<0.0001) and RRAD (p<0.0001) was lower in tumors than in healthy lung tissue in smokers.
CONCLUSION: Expression of several genes in NSCLC is strongly related to smoking history. Lower expression of PR and higher expression of ER2 in tumors suggests a possibility of hormonal therapeutic intervention in selected NSCLC patients. Distinct molecular features of NSCLC in never-smokers, e.g. CHRNA6 upregulation, may prompt new treatment strategies.

Related: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Lung Cancer

Gu GL, Zhu XQ, Wei XM, et al.
Epithelial-mesenchymal transition in colorectal cancer tissue of patients with Lynch syndrome.
World J Gastroenterol. 2014; 20(1):250-7 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2015 Related Publications
AIM: To explore the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in tissue from patients with Lynch syndrome, and to interpret biological behaviour of Lynch syndrome.
METHODS: Sixty-eight formalin-fixed and paraffin embedded tissue blocks were analyzed in this study, including tissues from Lynch syndrome (n = 30), sporadic colorectal carcinoma (CRC) (n = 30), and tumor-adjacent tissues (n = 8). Tissue sections were stained for human mutS homolog 2 (hMSH2), human mutL homolog 1 (hMLH1), transforming growth factor-β type II receptor (TGFβRII), E-cadherin, β-catenin, matrix metalloproteinase-7 (MMP-7) and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-2 (TIMP-2) by immunohistochemical staining. Furthermore, clinical data such as age, gender and tumor-node-metastasis stage were also collected retrospectively.
RESULTS: The positive expression rates of hMSH2, hMLH1, TGFβRII, E-cadherin, β-catenin, MMP-7 and TIMP-2 were significantly related to the depth of invasion and lymph node metastasis, but not to sex or tumour size or location. The differences in the positive expression rates of hMSH2, hMLH1, TGFβRII, E-cadherin, cytomembrane β-catenin, cytoplasmic β-catenin, MMP-7 and TIMP-2 were significant between sporadic CRC and Lynch syndrome. The expression of hMSH2 had a positive correlation with that of hMLH1 in Lynch syndrome and sporadic CRC. The expression of TGFβRII had a positive correlation with that of hMSH2, hMLH1 and MMP-7, and a negative correlation with that of TIMP-2. The expression of MMP-7 had a negative correlation with that of TIMP-2 in Lynch syndrome and sporadic CRC. The expression of E-cadherin was positively correlated with that of cytomembrane β-catenin. However, the expression of cytomembrane β-catenin was negatively correlated with that of cytoplasmic β-catenin, and the expression of cytoplasmic β-catenin was positively correlated with that of MMP-7.
CONCLUSION: EMT may play an important role in the development and progression of Lynch syndrome. Lynch syndrome was caused by the mutations of mismatch repair genes, mainly hMSH2 and hMLH1, which also beget the mutational inactivation of TGFβRII. Therefore, the colorectal cancer of Lynch syndrome can escape the inhibitory effect of TGFβ1. However, TGFβ1 can up-regulate the expression of MMP-7 and down-regulate the expression of TIMP-2 in tumors by disassembling the E-cadherin/β-catenin complex in the cytomembrane.

Slattery ML, Lundgreen A, Stern MC, et al.
The influence of genetic ancestry and ethnicity on breast cancer survival associated with genetic variation in the TGF-β-signaling pathway: The Breast Cancer Health Disparities Study.
Cancer Causes Control. 2014; 25(3):293-307 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2015 Related Publications
The TGF-β signaling pathway regulates cellular proliferation and differentiation. We evaluated genetic variation in this pathway, its association with breast cancer survival, and survival differences by genetic ancestry and self-reported ethnicity. The Breast Cancer Health Disparities Study includes participants from the 4-Corners Breast Cancer Study (n = 1,391 cases) and the San Francisco Bay Area Breast Cancer Study (n = 946 cases) who have been followed for survival. We evaluated 28 genes in the TGF-β signaling pathway using a tagSNP approach. Adaptive rank truncated product (ARTP) was used to test the gene and pathway significance by Native American (NA) ancestry and by self-reported ethnicity (non-Hispanic white (NHW) and Hispanic/NA). Genetic variation in the TGF-β signaling pathway was associated with overall breast cancer survival (P ARTP = 0.05), especially for women with low NA ancestry (P ARTP = 0.007) and NHW women (P ARTP = 0.006). BMP2, BMP4, RUNX1, and TGFBR3 were significantly associated with breast cancer survival overall (P ARTP = 0.04, 0.02, 0.002, and 0.04, respectively). Among women with low NA, ancestry associations were as follows: BMP4 (P ARTP = 0.007), BMP6 (P ARTP = 0.001), GDF10 (P ARTP = 0.05), RUNX1 (P ARTP = 0.002), SMAD1 (P ARTP = 0.05), and TGFBR2 (P ARTP = 0.02). A polygenic risk model showed that women with low NA ancestry and high numbers of at-risk alleles had twice the risk of dying from breast cancer as did women with high NA ancestry. Our data suggest that genetic variation in the TGF-β signaling pathway influences breast cancer survival. Associations were similar when the analyses were stratified by genetic ancestry or by self-reported ethnicity.

Related: Breast Cancer Signal Transduction

Shimamura M, Nakahara M, Kurashige T, et al.
Disruption of transforming growth factor-β signaling in thyroid follicular epithelial cells or intrathyroidal fibroblasts does not promote thyroid carcinogenesis.
Endocr J. 2014; 61(3):297-302 [PubMed] Related Publications
Transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) members, pleiotropic cytokines, play a critical role for carcinogenesis generally as a tumor suppressor in the early cancer development, but as a tumor promoter in the late stage of cancer progression. The present study was designed to clarify the role for TGF-β signaling in early thyroid carcinogenesis using the conditional Tgfbr2(floxE2/floxE2) knock-in mice, having 2 loxP sites at introns 1 and 2 of Tgfb2r gene. When these mice were crossed with thyroid peroxidase (TPO)-Cre or fibroblast-specific protein-1 (FSP1)-Cre, the resultant mice, Tgfbr2(tpoKO) and Tgfbr2(fspKO), lost TGF-β II receptor expression (thereby TGF-β signaling) specifically in the thyroid follicular epithelial cells or fibroblasts, respectively. The thyroid morphology was monitored up to 52 weeks in these mice, showing no tumor development, except one Tgfbr2(tpoKO) mouse developing follicular adenoma like-lesion. Our data suggest that TGF-β signaling in mesenchymal or follicular epithelial cells of the thyroid does not appear to function as a tumor suppressive barrier at the early stage of thyroid carcinogenesis.

Related: Signal Transduction Thyroid Cancer

Fan Q, Gu D, Liu H, et al.
Defective TGF-β signaling in bone marrow-derived cells prevents hedgehog-induced skin tumors.
Cancer Res. 2014; 74(2):471-83 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/01/2015 Related Publications
Hedgehog signaling in cancer cells drives changes in the tumor microenvironment that are incompletely understood. Here, we report that hedgehog-driven tumors exhibit an increase in myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) and a decrease in T cells, indicative of an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment. This change was associated with activated TGF-β signaling in several cell types in basal cell carcinomas. We determined that TGF-β signaling in bone marrow-derived cells, not keratinocytes, regulates MDSC and promotes tumor development. Tgfbr2 deficiency in the bone marrow-derived cells also reduced the size of previously developed tumors in mice. We identified CCL2 as the major chemokine attracting MDSCs to tumor, whose expression was Tgfbr2-dependent, whereas its receptor CCR2 was highly expressed in MDSC population. CCL2 alone was sufficient to induce migration of MDSCs. Moreover, the CCR2 inhibitors prevented MDSC migration toward skin cells in vitro, and reduced MDSC accumulation and hedgehog signaling-driven tumor development in mice. Our results reveal a signaling network critical for hedgehog signaling in cancer cells to establish an effective immunosuppressive microenvironment during tumor development.

Related: Signal Transduction Skin Cancer TGFB1

Grant JL, Fishbein MC, Hong LS, et al.
A novel molecular pathway for Snail-dependent, SPARC-mediated invasion in non-small cell lung cancer pathogenesis.
Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2014; 7(1):150-60 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2015 Related Publications
Definition of the molecular pathogenesis of lung cancer allows investigators an enhanced understanding of the natural history of the disease, thus fostering development of new prevention strategies. In addition to regulating epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), the transcription factor Snail exerts global effects on gene expression. Our recent studies reveal that Snail is upregulated in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), is associated with poor prognosis, and promotes tumor progression in vivo. Herein, we demonstrate that overexpression of Snail leads to the upregulation of secreted protein, acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC) in models of premalignancy and established disease, as well as in lung carcinoma tissues in situ. Snail overexpression leads to increased SPARC-dependent invasion in vitro, indicating that SPARC may play a role in lung cancer progression. Bioinformatic analysis implicates transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β), extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2, and miR-29b as potential intermediaries in Snail-mediated upregulation of SPARC. Both the TGF-β1 ligand and TGF-β receptor 2 (TGF-βR2) are upregulated following Snail overexpression. Treatment of human bronchial epithelial cell (HBEC) lines with TGF-β1 and inhibition of TGF-β1 mRNA expression modulates SPARC expression. Inhibition of MAP-ERK kinase (MEK) phosphorylation downregulates SPARC. MiR-29b is downregulated in Snail-overexpressing cell lines, whereas overexpression of miR-29b inhibits SPARC expression. In addition, miR-29b is upregulated following ERK inhibition, suggesting a Snail-dependent pathway by which Snail activation of TGF-β and ERK signaling results in downregulation of miR-29b and subsequent upregulation of SPARC. Our discovery of pathways responsible for Snail-induced SPARC expression contributes to the definition of NSCLC pathogenesis.

Related: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Lung Cancer Signal Transduction SPARC

Kloor M
[Pathogenesis of microsatellite-unstable colorectal cancer. Evaluation of new diagnostic and therapeutic options].
Pathologe. 2013; 34 Suppl 2:277-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
The molecular pathogenesis of colorectal cancer is heterogeneous. Whereas the majority of colorectal cancers follow the classical adenoma-carcinoma sequence and display chromosomal instability, a subset of approximately 15 % of colorectal cancers show a deficiency of the DNA mismatch repair system. These carcinomas present with numerous mutations at repetitive DNA stretches, a phenotype termed high-level microsatellite instability (MSI-H). The pathogenesis of MSI-H cancers is driven by mismatch repair deficiency-induced insertion/deletion mutations affecting microsatellites located in the coding region of tumor suppressor genes, such as TGFBR2. The MSI-induced mutations of tumor suppressor genes not only lead to functional inactivation but also to shifts of the translational reading frame and consequently to the generation of frameshift peptides (FSPs). These FSPs can be recognized as foreign by the host immune system. It could be shown that in the majority of MSI-H colorectal cancer patients, FSP-specific T cell-mediated immune responses can be detected. These tumor antigen-specific immune responses are regarded as a major reason for the dense local lymphocyte infiltration which is typical of MSI-H colorectal cancer. A further characteristic feature of MSI-H cancers is the occurrence of alterations affecting the cellular antigen presentation mechanism where beta2-microglobulin (B2M) mutations that directly result from DNA mismatch repair deficiency represent the most common mechanism. It could be demonstrated that B2M mutations are associated with M0 stage and a very favorable prognosis. The characterization of the particular immunological properties of MSI-H tumors have paved the way for the initiation of a clinical trial in which FSP vaccination is currently being clinically evaluated in patients with MSI-H colorectal cancer.

Related: Colorectal (Bowel) Cancer

Fu Y, Liu X, Zhou N, et al.
MicroRNA-200b stimulates tumour growth in TGFBR2-null colorectal cancers by negatively regulating p27/kip1.
J Cell Physiol. 2014; 229(6):772-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
Colorectal cancer (CRC) remains the most common malignancy worldwide. TGF-β1 is often overexpressed in late stages of colorectal carcinogenesis and promotes tumour growth and metastasis. Several reports have verified that the loss of functional TGFBRII expression contributed to escape the tumour suppressor activity of TGF-β1 and that the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) responded to TGF-β1 involved in tumour invasion and metastasis. However, the mechanisms by which TGF-β1 confers a growth advantage to TGFBRII-null colorectal cancer cells have not been elucidated. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are post-transcriptional inhibitory regulators of gene expression that act by directly binding complementary mRNA and are key determinants of cancer initiation and progression. In this study, we revealed a role for miR-200b in colorectal cancer. MiR-200b was highly expressed in TGFBRII-null tumour tissues and colorectal cancer cell lines and positively correlated with cell proliferation in tumour tissues and cell lines. In contrast, decreasing the miR-200b level in TGFBRII-null cells suppressed cell proliferation and cell cycle progression. Furthermore, in vivo studies also suggested a stimulating effect of miR-200b on TGFBRII-null cell-derived xenografts. CDKN1B (p27/kip1) and RND3 (RhoE) have miR-200b binding sequences within their 3' untranslated regions and were confirmed to be direct targets of miR-200b using fluorescent reporter assays. Meanwhile, CDKN1B (p27/kip1) played a role in miR-200b-stimulated TGFBR-null CRC. This study suggests that miR-200b plays a tumour-promoting role by targeting CDKN1B (p27/kip1) in CRCs.

Related: Colorectal (Bowel) Cancer CDKN1B TGFBR1

Mishra S, Deng JJ, Gowda PS, et al.
Androgen receptor and microRNA-21 axis downregulates transforming growth factor beta receptor II (TGFBR2) expression in prostate cancer.
Oncogene. 2014; 33(31):4097-106 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 31/01/2015 Related Publications
Prostate cancer cells escape growth inhibition from transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) by downregulating TGFβ receptors. However, the mechanism by which cancer cells downregulate TGFβ receptors in prostate is not clear. Here, we showed that coordinated action of miR-21 and androgen receptor (AR) signaling had a critical role in inhibiting TGFβ receptor II (TGFBR2) expression in prostate cancer cells. Our results revealed that miR-21 suppresses TGFBR2 levels by binding to its 3'-UTR and AR signaling further potentiates this effect in both untransformed and transformed human prostate epithelial cells as well as in human prostate cancers. Analysis of primary prostate cancers showed that increased miR-21/AR expression parallel a significantly reduced expression of TGFBR2. Manipulation of androgen signaling or the expression levels of AR or miR-21 negatively altered TGFBR2 expression in untransformed and transformed human prostate epithelial cells, human prostate cancer xenografts and mouse prostate glands. Importantly, we demonstrated that miR-21 and AR regulated each other's expression resulting in a positive feedback loop. Our results indicated that miR-21/AR mediate its tumor-promoting function by attenuating TGFβ-mediated Smad2/3 activation, cell growth inhibition, cell migration and apoptosis. Together, these results suggest that the AR and miR-21 axis exerts its oncogenic effects in prostate tumors by downregulating TGFBR2, hence inhibiting the tumor-suppressive activity of TGFβ pathway. Targeting miR-21 alone or in combination with AR may restore the tumor inhibitory activity of TGFβ in prostate cancer.

Related: Prostate Cancer AR: androgen receptor miR-21

Bjerke GA, Yang CS, Frierson HF, et al.
Activation of Akt signaling in prostate induces a TGFβ-mediated restraint on cancer progression and metastasis.
Oncogene. 2014; 33(28):3660-7 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 10/01/2015 Related Publications
Mutations in the PTEN tumor suppressor gene are found in a high proportion of human prostate cancers, and in mice, Pten deletion induces high-grade prostate intraepithelial neoplasia (HGPIN). However, progression from HGPIN to invasive cancer occurs slowly, suggesting that tumorigenesis is subject to restraint. We show that Pten deletion, or constitutive activation of the downstream kinase AKT, activates the transforming growth factor (TGF)β pathway in prostate epithelial cells. TGFβ signaling is known to have a tumor suppressive role in many cancer types, and reduced expression of TGFβ receptors correlates with advanced human prostate cancer. We demonstrate that in combination either with loss of Pten or expression of constitutively active AKT1, inactivation of TGFβ signaling by deletion of the TGFβ type II receptor gene relieves a restraint on tumorigenesis. This results in rapid progession to lethal prostate cancer, including metastasis to lymph node and lung. In prostate epithelium, inactivation of TGFβ signaling alone is insufficient to initiate tumorigenesis, but greatly accelerates cancer progression. The activation of TGFβ signaling by Pten loss or AKT activation suggests that the same signaling events that have key roles in tumor initiation also induce the activity of a pathway that restrains disease progression.

Related: PTEN Prostate Cancer AKT1 Signal Transduction

Bian J, Li B, Zeng X, et al.
Mutation of TGF-β receptor II facilitates human bladder cancer progression through altered TGF-β1 signaling pathway.
Int J Oncol. 2013; 43(5):1549-59 [PubMed] Related Publications
Tumor cells commonly adapt survival strategies by downregulation or mutational inactivation of TGF-β receptors thereby reversing TGF-β1-mediated growth arrest. However, TGF-β1-triggered signaling also has a protumor effect through promotion of tumor cell migration. The mechanism(s) through which malignant cells reconcile this conflict by avoiding growth arrest, but strengthening migration remains largely unclear. TGF-βRII was overexpressed in the bladder cancer cell line T24, concomitant with point mutations, especially the Glu269 to Lys mutation (G → A). Whilst leaving Smad2/3 binding unaffected, TGF-βRII mutations resulted in the unaffected tumor cell growth and also enhanced cell mobility by TGF-β1 engagement. Such phenomena are perhaps partially explained by the mutated TGF-βRII pathway deregulating the p15 and Cdc25A genes that are important to cell proliferation and CUTL1 gene relevant to motility. On the other hand, transfecting recombinant TGF-βRII-Fc vectors or smad2/3 siRNA blocked such abnormal gene expressions. Clinically, such G → A mutations were also found in 18 patients (n=46) with bladder cancer. Comparing the clinical and pathologic characteristics, the pathologic T category (χ2 trend = 7.404, P<0.01) and tumor grade (χ2 trend = 9.127, P<0.01) tended to increase in the G → A mutated group (TGF-βRII point-mutated group). These findings provide new insights into how TGF-β1 signaling is tailored during tumorigenesis and new information into the current TGF-β1-based therapeutic strategies, especially in bladder cancer patient treatment.

Related: Apoptosis TGFB1 Bladder Cancer Bladder Cancer - Molecular Biology

Teixeira AL, Gomes M, Nogueira A, et al.
Improvement of a predictive model of castration-resistant prostate cancer: functional genetic variants in TGFβ1 signaling pathway modulation.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(8):e72419 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 10/01/2015 Related Publications
Prostate cancer (PC) is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in men. The acquisition of castration-resistant (CR) phenotype is associated with the activation of signaling pathways mediated by growth factors. The TGFβ1 and its receptors have an important role in tumor progression, being the pro-apoptotic function modulated by the expression of TGFBR2. A single nucleotide polymorphism -875 G > A in TGFBR2 gene has been described, which may influence the expression levels of the receptor. Our purpose was to investigate the potential role of TGFBR2-875G>A in PC risk and in the response to androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). TGFBR2-875G>A polymorphism was studied by allelic discrimination using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in 891 patients with PC and 874 controls. A follow-up study was undertaken to evaluate response to ADT. The TGFBR2 and SMAD7 mRNA expression were analyzed by a quantitative real-time PCR. We found that TGFBR2-875GG homozygous patients present lower expression levels of TGFBR2 mRNA (AA/AG: 2(-ΔΔCT) =1.5, P=0.016). GG genotype was also associated with higher Gleason grade (OR=1.51, P=0.019) and increased risk of an early relapse after ADT (HR=1.47, P=0.024). The concordance (c) index analysis showed that the definition of profiles that contains information regarding tumor characteristics associated with genetic information present an increased capacity to predict the risk for CR development (c-index model 1: 0.683 vs model 2: 0.736 vs model 3: 0.746 vs model 4: 0.759). The TGFBR2-875G>A contribution to an early relapse in ADT patients, due to changes in mRNA expression, supports the involvement of TGFβ1 pathway in CRPC. Furthermore, according to our results, we hypothesize the potential benefits of the association of genetic information in predictive models of CR development.

Related: Prostate Cancer Signal Transduction TGFB1 KLK3

Sivadas VP, George NA, Kattoor J, Kannan S
Novel mutations and expression alterations in SMAD3/TGFBR2 genes in oral carcinoma correlate with poor prognosis.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2013; 52(11):1042-52 [PubMed] Related Publications
Transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) signaling is a pleiotropic cytokine signaling pathway, which controls cellular activities ranging from embryogenesis to apoptosis. Although many molecular alterations in this pathway have been described in cancers, the central point of concern, that is how these alterations influence the treatment outcome, has been addressed to a lesser extent. In this study, we have characterized the alterations of TGF-β-SMAD signaling in 97 oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) samples and assessed the association between these alterations and the outcome of the treatment. Genomic level alteration analysis using reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction-single-strand conformation polymorphism/sequencing revealed that there were 25% samples harboring genomic level alterations in this pathway. Altogether, 21% samples showed TGFBR2 mutations, whereas three cases were found to harbor novel SMAD3 mutations. Notably, 14 out of 24 TGFBR2 mutations are of one type (c.*6C>A), which supplemented complementarity for hsa-miR-3189-5p. These samples showed significantly low TGFBR2 transcript levels (P = 0.026). In addition, transcript level studies using quantitative real-time PCR revealed a strong association between low TGFBR2 transcript levels and poor disease-free survival (P = 0.028) as well as poor overall survival (P = 0.013). In brief, our results showed that oral cancers with TGFBR2 downregulation comprise a different group with more aggressive nature. These results suggest that in OSCCs, TGFBR2 transcript levels may be developed as a promising prognostic biomarker. Furthermore, for the first time, this study reports SMAD3 mutations in oral carcinoma.

Related: Oral Cancer Signal Transduction SMAD3

Yeung TL, Leung CS, Wong KK, et al.
TGF-β modulates ovarian cancer invasion by upregulating CAF-derived versican in the tumor microenvironment.
Cancer Res. 2013; 73(16):5016-28 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 10/01/2015 Related Publications
TGF-β has limited effects on ovarian cancer cells, but its contributions to ovarian tumor growth might be mediated through elements of the tumor microenvironment. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that TGF modulates ovarian cancer progression by modulating the contribution of cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAF) that are present in the microenvironment. Transcriptome profiling of microdissected stromal and epithelial components of high-grade serous ovarian tumors and TGF-β-treated normal ovarian fibroblasts identified versican (VCAN) as a key upregulated target gene in CAFs. Functional evaluations in coculture experiments showed that TGF-β enhanced the aggressiveness of ovarian cancer cells by upregulating VCAN in CAFs. VCAN expression was regulated in CAFs through TGF-β receptor type II and SMAD signaling. Upregulated VCAN promoted the motility and invasion of ovarian cancer cells by activating the NF-κB signaling pathway and by upregulating expression of CD44, matrix metalloproteinase-9, and the hyaluronan-mediated motility receptor. Our work identified a TGF-β-inducible gene signature specific to CAFs in advanced high-grade serous ovarian tumors, and showed how TGF-β stimulates ovarian cancer cell motility and invasion by upregulating the CAF-specific gene VCAN. These findings suggest insights to develop or refine strategies for TGF-β-targeted therapy of ovarian cancer.

Related: MMP9: matrix metallopeptidase 9 Ovarian Cancer Signal Transduction

Yang B, Liu H, Shi W, et al.
Blocking transforming growth factor-β signaling pathway augments antitumor effect of adoptive NK-92 cell therapy.
Int Immunopharmacol. 2013; 17(2):198-204 [PubMed] Related Publications
Natural killer (NK) cells hold great potential for improving the immunotherapy of cancer. However, existing data indicate that tumor cells can effectively escape NK cell-mediated apoptosis through immunosuppressive effect in the tumor microenvironment. Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) is a potent immunosuppressant. The present study was intended to develop a treatment strategy through adoptive transfer of TGF-β insensitive NK-92 cells. To block TGF-β signaling pathway, NK-92 cells were genetically modified with dominant negative TGF-β type II receptor (DNTβRII) by optimizing electroporation using the Amaxa Nucleofector system. These genetically modified NK-92 cells were insensitive to TGF-β and able to resist the suppressive effect of TGF-β on Calu-6 lung cancer cells in vitro. To determine the antitumor activity in vivo, recipient mice were challenged with a single subcutaneous injection of Calu-6 cells. Adoptive transfer of TGF-β insensitive NK-92 cells decreased tumor proliferation, reduced lung metastasis, produced more IFN-γ, and increased the survival rate of nude mice bearing established Calu-6 cells. Hence, we have demonstrated that blocking transforming growth factor-β signaling pathway in NK cells provides a novel therapeutic strategy and warrants further investigation.

Related: Lung Cancer Signal Transduction

Zhou YH, Liao SJ, Li D, et al.
TLR4 ligand/H₂O₂ enhances TGF-β1 signaling to induce metastatic potential of non-invasive breast cancer cells by activating non-Smad pathways.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(5):e65906 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 10/01/2015 Related Publications
TGF-β1 has the potential to activate multiple signaling pathways required for inducing metastatic potential of tumor cells. However, TGF-β1 was inefficient in inducing metastatic potential of many non-invasive human tumor cells. Here we report that the enhancement of TGF-β1 signaling is required for inducing metastatic potential of non-invasive breast cancer cells. TGF-β1 alone could not efficiently induce the sustained activation of Smad and non-Smad pathways in non-invasive breast cancer cells. TLR4 ligand (LPS) and H₂O₂ cooperated with TGF-β1 to enhance the sustained activation of non-Smad pathways, including p38MAPK, ERK, JNK, PI3K, and NF-κB. The activation of MAPK and PI3K pathways resulted in a positive feed-back effect on TGF-β1 signaling by down-regulating Nm23-H1 expression and up-regulating the expression of TβRI and TβRII, favoring further activation of multiple signaling pathways. Moreover, the enhanced TGF-β1 signaling induced higher expression of SNAI2, which also promoted TβRII expression. Therefore, the sustained activation levels of both Smad and non-Smad pathways were gradually increased after prolonged stimulation with TGF-β1/H₂O₂/LPS. Consistent with the activation pattern of signaling pathways, the invasive capacity and anoikis-resistance of non-invasive breast cancer cells were gradually increased after prolonged stimulation with TGF-β1/H₂O₂/LPS. The metastatic potential induced by TGF-β1/H₂O₂/LPS was sufficient for tumor cells to extravasate and form metastatic foci in an experimental metastasis model in nude mice. The findings in this study suggested that the enhanced signaling is required for inducing higher metastatic capacity of tumor cells, and that targeting one of stimuli or signaling pathways might be potential approach in comprehensive strategy for tumor therapy.

Related: Breast Cancer Signal Transduction TGFB1 TGFBR1 NME1

Chu TH, Yang CC, Liu CJ, et al.
miR-211 promotes the progression of head and neck carcinomas by targeting TGFβRII.
Cancer Lett. 2013; 337(1):115-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
miR-211 up-regulation and transforming growth factor-β type II receptor (TGFβRII) down-regulation are associated with poor prognosis of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). miR-211 directly targets TGFβRII with the miR-211-TGFβRII-c-Myc axis promoting HNSCC progression. An inverse correlation of miR-211 and TGFβRII expression was found in metastatic HNSCC samples. After 4-nitroquinoline 1-oxide induction, more severe epithelial tumorigenesis was detected on K14-miR-211 transgenic mouse dorsal tongues. Human metastatic lesions and mouse tongue tumors showed increased nuclear c-Myc expression. A novel role for miR-211 in the regulation of TGFβRII and c-Myc during tumorigenesis being revealed should help to develop anti-HNSCC therapies.

Related: Head and Neck Cancers Head and Neck Cancers - Molecular Biology SMAD3

Mu X, Lin S, Yang J, et al.
TGF-β signaling is often attenuated during hepatotumorigenesis, but is retained for the malignancy of hepatocellular carcinoma cells.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(5):e63436 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 10/01/2015 Related Publications
The role of transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) signaling in hepatocarcinogenesis remains controversial. We aimed to reveal TGF-β signaling status in human and murine tissues of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and the mechanisms that mediate TGF-β's role in regulating HCC malignancy. Here, TGF-β pathway component expression and activation in human and murine HCC tissues were measured with quantitative RT-PCR and Western blotting assays. The role of TGF-β receptor and Smad signaling in the growth and survival of several HCC cell lines was determined with several in vitro and in vivo approaches. We found that TGF-β receptor II (TβRII) expression was downregulated in two different HCC patient cohorts. Consistently, Smad3 phosphorylation was also downregulated in HCC tissues in comparison to that in adjacent normal tissues. Interestingly, many HCC cell lines were sensitive to TGF-β and growth-inhibited by exogenous TGF-β. However, stable knockdown of TβRII inhibited cell growth on plastic and in soft agar, and induced apoptosis resulting in suppressed subcutaneous tumor growth and metastatic potential in vivo. Furthermore, knockdown of Smad4 also led to a significant inhibition of growth on plastic and in soft agar with concomitant increase of apoptosis, PTEN expression, and reduced nuclear accumulation of linker region-phosphorylated Smad3. Taken together, TGF-β signaling pathway plays a dichotomous role in hepatocellular carcinogenesis. It appears to suppress HCC development, but is retained for HCC cell survival and malignancy. Furthermore, Smad4 can mediate both growth inhibitory activity induced by exogenous TGF-β and the survival activity induced by autocrine TGF-β revealing a delicate selection of the two opposing activities of TGF-β during HCC evolution.

Related: Apoptosis Liver Cancer PTEN Signal Transduction

Li J, Liu Y, Wang B, et al.
Myeloid TGF-β signaling contributes to colitis-associated tumorigenesis in mice.
Carcinogenesis. 2013; 34(9):2099-108 [PubMed] Related Publications
Myeloid cells have a critical role in maintaining intestinal homeostasis and regulating the development of inflammatory bowel disease and colitis-associated cancer (CAC). However, the signaling pathways that control the function of colonic myeloid cells in these pathological processes are still poorly defined. In this study, we demonstrate that transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) signaling in colonic myeloid cells is significantly involved in the development of CAC. Myeloid TGF-β receptor II (Tgfbr2)-deficient mice showed reduced susceptibility to chemically induced colitis-associated tumorigenesis, as evidenced by decreases in number and size of tumors. Myeloid Tgfbr2 deficiency markedly decreased the production of interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor-α, two proinflammatory cytokines that are essential for colonic tumorigenesis; in addition, a marked increase in the proportions of Foxp3+CD4+ regulatory T cells was observed in the colonic lamina propria in the initial stage of CAC. Loss of myeloid Tgfbr2 was associated with a decrease in the presence of F4/80 positive macrophages and a downregulation of phosphorylated STAT3, proliferative cell nuclear antigen and cyclin D1 expression in colonic adenoma tissues. TGF-β enhanced macrophage recruitment, at least in part, through modulating the expression of the chemokine (C-C motif) receptor 2 (CCR2) ligands in tumor environment and the CCR2 signaling in macrophages. Collectively, these results suggest that myeloid TGF-β signaling modulates intestinal inflammation and significantly promotes tumorigenesis in the development of colitis-associated colon cancer.

Related: Signal Transduction TNF

Harazono Y, Muramatsu T, Endo H, et al.
miR-655 Is an EMT-suppressive microRNA targeting ZEB1 and TGFBR2.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(5):e62757 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 10/01/2015 Related Publications
Recently, the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) has been demonstrated to contribute to normal and disease processes including cancer progression. To explore EMT-suppressive microRNAs (miRNAs), we established a cell-based reporter system using a stable clone derived from a pancreatic cancer cell line, Panc1, transfected with a reporter construct containing a promoter sequence of CDH1/E-cadherin in the 5' upstream region of the ZsGreen1 reporter gene. Then, we performed function-based screening with 470 synthetic double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) mimicking human mature miRNAs using the system and identified miR-655 as a novel EMT-suppressive miRNA. Overexpression of miR-655 not only induced the upregulation of E-cadherin and downregulation of typical EMT-inducers but also suppressed migration and invasion of mesenchymal-like cancer cells accompanied by a morphological shift toward the epithelial phenotype. In addition, we found a significant correlation between miR-655 expression and a better prognosis in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). Moreover, ZEB1 and TGFBR2, which are essential components of the TGF-b signaling pathway, were identified as direct targets of miR-655, suggesting that the activation of the TGF-b-ZEB1-E-cadherin axis by aberrant downregulation of miR-655 may accelerate cancer progression.

Related: Liver Cancer Oral Cancer Signal Transduction CDH1

Pang Y, Gara SK, Achyut BR, et al.
TGF-β signaling in myeloid cells is required for tumor metastasis.
Cancer Discov. 2013; 3(8):936-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
TGF-β is overexpressed in advanced human cancers. It correlates with metastasis and poor prognosis. However, TGF-β functions as both a tumor suppressor and a tumor promoter. Here, we report for the first time that genetic deletion of Tgfbr2 specifically in myeloid cells (Tgfbr2(MyeKO)) significantly inhibited tumor metastasis. Reconstitution of tumor-bearing mice with Tgfbr2(MyeKO) bone marrow recapitulated the inhibited metastasis phenotype. This effect is mediated through decreased production of type II cytokines, TGF-β1, arginase 1, and inducible nitric oxide synthase, which promoted IFN-γ production and improved systemic immunity. Depletion of CD8 T cells diminished the metastasis defect in the Tgfbr2(MyeKO) mice. Consistent with animal studies, myeloid cells from patients with advanced-stage cancer showed increased TGF-β receptor II expression. Our studies show that myeloid-specific TGF-β signaling is an essential component of the metastasis-promoting puzzle of TGF-β. This is in contrast to the previously reported tumor-suppressing phenotypes in fibroblasts, epithelial cells, and T cells.

Related: Signal Transduction

Yu M, Trobridge P, Wang Y, et al.
Inactivation of TGF-β signaling and loss of PTEN cooperate to induce colon cancer in vivo.
Oncogene. 2014; 33(12):1538-47 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/03/2015 Related Publications
The accumulation of genetic and epigenetic alterations mediates colorectal cancer (CRC) formation by deregulating key signaling pathways in cancer cells. In CRC, one of the most commonly inactivated signaling pathways is the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) signaling pathway, which is often inactivated by mutations of TGF-β type II receptor (TGFBR2). Another commonly deregulated pathway in CRC is the phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K)-AKT pathway. Phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) is an important negative regulator of PI3K-AKT signaling and is silenced in ∼30% of CRC. The combination of TGFBR2 inactivation and loss of PTEN is particularly common in microsatellite-unstable CRCs. Consequently, we determined in vivo if deregulation of these two pathways cooperates to affect CRC formation by analyzing tumors arising in mice that lack Tgfbr2 and/or Pten specifically in the intestinal epithelium. We found that lack of Tgfbr2 (Tgfbr2(IEKO)) alone is not sufficient for intestinal tumor formation and lack of Pten (Pten(IEKO)) alone had a weak effect on intestinal tumor induction. However, the combination of Tgfbr2 inactivation with Pten loss (Pten(IEKO);Tgfbr2(IEKO)) led to malignant tumors in both the small intestine and colon in 86% of the mice and to metastases in 8% of the tumor-bearing mice. Moreover, these tumors arose via a β-catenin-independent mechanism. Inactivation of TGF-β signaling and loss of Pten in the tumors led to increased cell proliferation, decreased apoptosis and decreased expression of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors. Thus, inactivation of TGF-β signaling and loss of PTEN cooperate to drive intestinal cancer formation and progression by suppressing cell cycle inhibitors.

Related: CDKN1A PTEN Signal Transduction

Ye Y, Han X, Guo B, et al.
Combination treatment with platycodin D and osthole inhibits cell proliferation and invasion in mammary carcinoma cell lines.
Environ Toxicol Pharmacol. 2013; 36(1):115-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
In this study, two invasive mammary carcinoma cells (MDA-MB-231 and 4T1) were utilized to evaluate the inhibitory activities of platycodin D, osthole, and the two in combination. The anti-proliferative effect was tested using the MTT and BrdU assay, and the combination of 15μM osthole and 75μM platycodin D was used for subsequent analyses. The anti-invasive effect was evaluated by the transwell assay. The results showed that the combination treatment reduced both cell proliferation and invasion. Western blot and real-time PCR revealed that the platycodin D-osthole combination significantly decreased TβRII, Smad2, Smad3 and Smad4 gene or protein expressions, as well as effectively blocked TGF-β-induced phosphorylation of Smad2 and Smad3. Thus, this study demonstrates that the anti-cancer effects of the platycodin D-osthole combination in breast cancer cells involve proliferation inhibition and invasion blockade, both of which may be mediated by perturbations in the TGF-β/Smads pathway.

Related: Breast Cancer

Casper M, Weber SN, Kloor M, et al.
Hepatocellular carcinoma as extracolonic manifestation of Lynch syndrome indicates SEC63 as potential target gene in hepatocarcinogenesis.
Scand J Gastroenterol. 2013; 48(3):344-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Lynch syndrome is a cancer predisposition syndrome caused by germline mutations in DNA mismatch repair (MMR) genes with microsatellite instability (MSI) as its molecular hallmark. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has not been considered part of the tumor spectrum. The aim was to provide a detailed molecular characterization of an HCC associated with Lynch Syndrome (Muir-Torre variant).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: HCC samples were analyzed for MSI, MMR protein expression and coding microsatellite instability (cMSI). Since cMSI also affected SEC63 coding for an endoplasmic reticulum membrane protein with implications for intracellular protein translocation, its impact on hepatocyte growth control was assessed in an established short-term model. Recombinant inbred mouse lines (BXD) showing different basal SEC63 expression levels were treated with the chemocarcinogen diethylnitrosamine (DEN) intraperitoneally. Proliferation and apoptosis of hepatocytes were determined after 48 h using Ki67 and TUNEL assays.
RESULTS: The HCC was high-grade microsatellite unstable with loss of MSH2 expression. cMSI was detected in four genes (ASTE1, SEC63, TAF1B, TGFBR2). However, only TGFBR2 is known to be involved in hepatocarcinogenesis. When investigating the impact of SEC63 expression on hepatocyte growth control in the murine model, low hepatic expression correlated significantly (p < 0.05) with a decrease in apoptosis and increased proliferative activity.
CONCLUSIONS: For the first time, an HCC with characteristic molecular features of association with Lynch syndrome is described. The pro-carcinogenic growth behavior of hepatocytes with low SEC63 expression in the murine model indicates a potential role for SEC63 in hepatocarcinogenesis in general, but this needs further functional validation.

Related: Apoptosis Liver Cancer MSH6 MLH1 MSH2

Lee J, Ballikaya S, Schönig K, et al.
Transforming growth factor beta receptor 2 (TGFBR2) changes sialylation in the microsatellite unstable (MSI) Colorectal cancer cell line HCT116.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(2):e57074 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/03/2015 Related Publications
Aberrant glycosylation is a common feature of many malignancies including colorectal cancers (CRCs). About 15% of CRC show the microsatellite instability (MSI) phenotype that is associated with a high frequency of biallelic frameshift mutations in the A10 coding mononucleotide microsatellite of the transforming growth factor beta receptor 2 (TGFBR2) gene. If and how impaired TGFBR2 signaling in MSI CRC cells affects cell surface glycan pattern is largely unexplored. Here, we used the TGFBR2-deficient MSI colon carcinoma cell line HCT116 as a model system. Stable clones conferring doxycycline (dox)-inducible expression of a single copy wildtype TGFBR2 transgene were generated by recombinase-mediated cassette exchange (RMCE). In two independent clones, dox-inducible expression of wildtype TGFBR2 protein and reconstitution of its signaling function was shown. Metabolic labeling experiments using the tritiated sialic acid precursor N-acetyl-D-mannosamine (ManNAc) revealed a significant decline (∼30%) of its incorporation into newly synthesized sialoglycoproteins in a TGFBR2-dependent manner. In particular, we detected a significant decrease of sialylated ß1-integrin upon reconstituted TGFBR2 signaling which did not influence ß1-integrin protein turnover. Notably, TGFBR2 reconstitution did not affect the transcript levels of any of the known human sialyltransferases when examined by real-time RT- PCR analysis. These results suggest that reconstituted TGFBR2 signaling in an isogenic MSI cell line model system can modulate sialylation of cell surface proteins like ß1-integrin. Moreover, our model system will be suitable to uncover the underlying molecular mechanisms of altered MSI tumor glycobiology.

Related: ITGB1 Colorectal (Bowel) Cancer


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